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Do You Need a Permit to Build a Treehouse? (Is It Legal?)

Do You Need a Permit to Build a Treehouse? (Is It Legal?)

Many people love tree houses because of the warmth of the wood and because walking into the house, you get the lovely smell of the wood and would want to have one.

Children are fascinated with treehouses, and building them can be an exciting project for you and your children. Trees with low-hanging branches make one of the perfect tools for constructing your treehouse as it provides children safety when it comes to prolonging their outdoor activities time.

These structures give children a special place to play with their friends. Many adults have made a living making habitable treehouses. Having one is not a problem, but you start to worry if you will need a permit to have your desired treehouse.

While you are planning on how to construct your treehouses, you may need to find out if engaging in this task is legal. On the other hand, you may need to check if you can carry on with the construction works. You may want to learn about other things to know about constructing treehouses. This article covers all you need to know about building permits for treehouses. Anyways, follow me as I answer that question.

Is it Necessary to Get a Permit to Build a Treehouse?

A treehouse as a property can help create a stronger bond among families, especially when kids are around. However, it may not be a smoother project if you are not legalized to execute such a project. It is best to learn about the legalization of treehouses in your region before embarking on it.

Generally, in most places, a permit is needed. Only a few states don’t have it explicitly regulated in their building law. A legal permit is the first step before focusing on the project itself, and it is important to consult if a building permit is necessary to build our treehouse.

There may be no need for a building permit if you aim to build a treehouse for your little kids or it’s just a little playhouse. This may, however, be the rule if you are going outside the structure that may contain more than little kids. The case may also be different when building a home with plumbing to put electricity.

I would recommend that you consult your corresponding local authority. A legal permit will help you know about local regulations and ordinances that may influence your project, such as height restrictions.

Regardless of your motives to build a treehouse, the size and general purpose of the treehouse will be the determining factor of whether there should be a need for a building permit or not. The best thing to do in any case before embarking on felling of trees for treehouse construction is to check the legalities of treehouses in your area.

If your treehouse plans are complex enough and the structure appears habitable, you will need to apply for a permit and speak to an inspector about your structure. Also,  If you are going to apply for a permit, you must obtain a structural engineer who will guarantee the soundness of your plans and the finished structure.

However, there are many rules to keep in mind before asking for a permit for building a treehouse. But one thing, you need to make sure that the treehouse is solely on your property. Also, you can build your treehouse in your backyard; otherwise, some people may see it as an eyesore and complain to their city government.

What matters most in the construction of treehouses is the treehouse’s scope, size, and construction purposes. Embarking on this construction process without proper findings may not mean good for you in the end. It is best to find out about your area.

Finally, it is of utmost importance that you inform your neighbors about the plans you want to carry out. For example, if your treehouse is visible and towered over the neighbor’s property. This simple step can prevent future complaints and lawsuits.

Is it Legal To Build a Treehouse?

Do you think building a treehouse is not legal? It can be illegal. However, if the conditions of building it have been met, it is legal. You might wonder what conditions the local authority will give before they permit building the treehouse, which becomes legal after permission. Here are some conditions they might ask of you.

Choose the right tree:– For this, you must mainly select a tree and make sure it is healthy and has a  suitable structure. It is well-rooted, has a robust trunk, and has reached its growth peak. Also, for a standard house of about six m², the tree’s diameter should be about 12 cm.

A trick that can be very useful to find this out is to measure the tree’s circumference with a tape or meter and divide by pi (3.14). Considering the conditions mentioned above, the ideal trees for this can be oaks, firs, maples, and apple trees.

If you still want to make sure, you can also consult an expert gardener who will inform you more precisely about the type of growth that the tree can carry. This condition is to ensure safety.

Design the plans: Not To go visionless, it is advisable to create a detailed plan first, as it is essential to have a good organization in the construction process. I recommend that you investigate the different existing treehouse ideas to decide which one to opt for.

At this point, if the goal is to create a treehouse for your children, it can be a fun activity to choose the design together, to create the perfect place where you can spend a lot of time and have fun. It is essential to have a firm idea of ​​the treehouse you want to build when choosing the design.

There are treehouse designs online, or if you have some building knowledge, you can create your own. You will need to take precise measurements to make your design compatible with the tree selected. However, you might be in a hurry and want to avoid this step, and there are also professional premade treehouse plans available.

Building a treehouse is as legal as having a child. Are you surprised? Yes, I mean it once these conditions are met and a few others like choosing the necessary materials and tools, establishing security measures, provision for fences and access methods, No sealing of the floor area (no foundation), e.t.c.

How Much Does a Treehouse Cost?

The cost of our realization will depend on the size of the treehouse, its height, the type of wood chosen, etc. There are no ready-made treehouses. Each one is planned individually.

The costs from one treehouse to another are therefore different. In addition to planning, material, equipment (usually a table, comfortable armchair and sleeping space, small terrace, ideally covered), size, and shape, the installation options on-site are also relevant for the price.

More miniature, single-shell treehouses, ideal for an overnight stay in summer, can be realized for as little as 10,000 dollars. A treehouse should be thermally insulated and double-glazed, where one likes to stay even in colder temperatures. Including assembly, such a treehouse costs around 35,000 dollars.

However, if you want a good design in a small space, you have to expect more. A treehouse can cost up to 160,000 dollars, and it can also be as low as 3,000 dollars. There are no limits to treehouse architecture’s mode, which will make the cost vary.

Does a Treehouse Increase the Value of Your Home?

Do you wish to have a treehouse in your home, but you are considering if it will add value to your home or decrease it? The fact remains that just having a tree in your home increases the value to about 10-20%.

Now, think about development like having a treehouse on that tree. It would add value to your home. However, the value will depend on the taste of the buyer. If a buyer likes a treehouse, it would be an excellent transaction.

Therefore, for a treehouse to add value to your home, it should be presented to those who cherish treehouses. Some people would not have their kids climb trees and wouldn’t want to have a treehouse in their homes. People’s perception of treehouses causes an increase or decrease in home values.

Answering this question solely rests on the kind of treehouse you look forward to building. If you have a treehouse in good condition and brings value or aesthetics to your building, you don’t need to doubt that it brings extra momentary resale value for you.

On the other hand, if you have a treehouse within your compound but in poor condition, you may be unknowingly decreasing the value if you consider a resale in the future.

Can a Treehouse be Insured?

Do you want to ensure your treehouse but are unsure if you can? Your answer is right here. You can ensure the treehouse, but in most cases, the insurance on your home covers the treehouse. However, it can happen that your home insurance cost will be increased.

Though not all insurance companies increase insurance payment costs after a treehouse is built on a property, some do as a way to cover the risk that comes with the treehouse. To be sure if your insurance agency will cover your treehouse, all you need is to ask your insurance provider if you would pay more for your policy if you built a treehouse in your home.

Having a conversation with your insurance agency does not only ensure you have protections for treehouse damage but also secures you against a retroactive policy revocation for misrepresentation.

How to Get a Permit For a Treehouse?

It may not be easy to conclude whether a treehouse is legal or not. You may think you are just constructing an extended playhouse for your kids, but on the other hand, it may look not very pleasant to a neighbor or see it as an eyesore. As a result, it may lead your neighbor to report to the local authority.

To be safe from this occurrence, it is good to request a township permit before embarking on the treehouse construction. On the other hand, there may be no need for a permit if you are building the treehouse in your backyard as a small-sized one.

However, you should always remember that it is best to not let your neighbor access or see your treehouse, especially people who may find it annoying to prevent unnecessary reports. There is a need to get a permit for a livable complex treehouse. With a permit, there are chances that the construction process with be intercepted. The worries of future demolition will also be eradicated if you have a permit.

These few tips can help you in getting a permit for a treehouse

  • Find out first from the township authority to know if there’s a need to get a permit for your structure
  • Tender all project details and comply with the requirements
  • You may need to include details such as floor space
  • The township may be curious about electricity or plumbing in the treehouse
  • The distance to the property line may be checked
  • Adjustment of your plans may be possible. Be prepared
  • Tender plans as requested by the township
  • Pay all fees for official treehouse approval

How Close To a Property Line Can You Build a Treehouse?

You might have come a long way in deciding on building a treehouse; yes, it’s good but have you thought about the distance you need to leave so you won’t be too close to the property line. Ohhh, it dawned on you, well, you are here, and I’m ready to help you.

There is a need for a sufficient distance from the property line, which is at least 10 meters away and can vary from the place. If it is not visible to have up to 10 meters distance from the property line, you can request a variance. Variance is a request to deviate from current zoning requirements.

If granted, it allows you to build on the property in a way not normally permitted by zoning law. It is not a change in the zoning law but a waiver of the zoning ordinance requirements.

Do You Need a Permit to Build a Treehouse in Florida?

Florida has different laws from area to area. In rural parts of Florida, there may be no need for residents to seek permits to build treehouses. Certain laws may guide people who live in the urban centers up to some standards. Therefore, it is sometimes best to find out from the township or more from local codes.

Do You Need a Permit to Build a Treehouse in Washington?

For Washington residents who seek to have a treehouse, it is worth knowing that there is no need for a permit, even if you already own one. However, certain requirements must be met to own a treehouse. Treehouse must not be less than 200 sq ft. Also, the construction purposes must be for kids to play alone.

Do You Need a Permit to Build a Treehouse in California?

Just like other common areas you are familiar with, you can legally build a treehouse in California. However, a permit isn’t compulsory if you meet up the requirements. You do not need a permit to construct a treehouse with less than. 1,200 sq ft without any utilities.

Do You Need a Permit to Build a Treehouse in Texas?

Texas isn’t just one of the areas you require a permit but also needs to follow certain strict conditions. Your treehouse must meet certain zoning requirements, building permits, and other necessary things. However, it is best to consult the township before embarking on the construction work to know more about when you will require a permit should you go beyond specific building requirements.

Do You Need a Permit to Build a Treehouse in New York?

For New Yorkers who have a home, the same laws that bind building sheds bind the construction of treehouses. This implies that people who want to build treehouses in NY may not need a permit to build a structure less than 230 sq. ft.

Additionally, treehouses must be distant from property lines for three feet. The construction process should also take place in the backyard. Ensure that people cannot sight your treehouse if you live in a landmark area.

Do You Need a Permit to Build a Treehouse in Ontario?

As it is in many other places, getting a permit in Ontario is necessary, and it will keep you safe. I’m sure you won’t want to spend your money on a project and have it demolished yourself after the order from the authorities. Whether it is a play treehouse for your kids or a complex treehouse you can live in, you must consult the local authority for permission. However, after consultation, you might find out that only a complex treehouse needs a permit. To get your permit, you must be ready to comply with all requirements, including an adjustment in your desired plan.


Do you need a permit to build a treehouse? Yes, in most cases, all you need to do is approach your area’s local authority. Getting a permit will relieve you of the stress from sanctions, either from neighbors or local authorities.